Not all that long ago, any woman who wanted to cosplay Star Wars … didn’t have a lot of options in terms of female characters. Jaina and Mara Jade, possibly, but for really recognisable female characters in Star Wars … you were pretty much going with Leia. Or a cantina dancer. Or possibly Mon Mothma, but she’s never really been anyone’s go-to. Badass women in Star Wars were pretty thin on the ground if your main or in fact only exposure was the movies. If you didn’t read all the books or the comics or whatever else, there was a pretty minimal amount of badass woman.
Now, though? Ahsoka. Hera. Sabine. Padme. Jyn. Rey. Captain Phasma. And this prevalence of female main characters encourages people to go look for more. And there are going to be more.
I guess the point I’m making is that when I was growing up, if you wanted to dress up as an iconic woman from Star Wars, you kind of had to go as Leia. Now that there are so many more options? Now women cosplay as Leia because they really, really want to. It’s a way of saying, “I love her. Of all the badass women in Star Wars, I want to be her.”
If Carrie Fisher had to be gone … I’m glad it’s at a time when cosplaying as her most iconic character is an honour, not a default.
So I just read about a pretty badass woman named Tomoe Gozen. She was basically a female samurai and was considered one warrior worth a thousand. More info: darlingmagazine(.)org/lady-of-legacy-tomoe-gozen/
Yep! She’s on the list for sure – may be a book entry, actually. I’ve written about her in passing, in followups to entries on Tsuruhime Ohori and Masako Hojo. Rad lady! If anyone wants the down-low on her story (or that of Masako Hojo, or Empress Jingu, or several others), I recommend checking out the book Heroic With Grace, edited by Chieko Irie Mulhern.